Arts alliance to construct, donate moving sculpture to Lewisville

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Daren Fagan presents a model of what he will be building to the city council. The final structure will have a purple thistle on top instead of red a red one and will be installed at the corner of Main Street and Charles Street. (Photo by Steve Southwell)
Daren Fagan presents a model of what he will be building to city council. The final structure will have a purple thistle on top instead of a red one and will be installed at the corner of Main Street and Charles Street. (Photo by Steve Southwell)

When it’s built it will stand nearly 20 feet tall, weigh about 900 pounds and have swirling elements. It will be Old Town’s first piece of permanent public art.

The Greater Lewisville Arts Alliance will be donating the steel, kinetic sculpture — designed and later to be constructed by Daren Fagan — to the city. City council, with recommendation from the Arts Advisory Board, formally accepted it at the April 17 meeting.

The city aims to install the public art piece by June 11 at the corner of Charles and Main at the MCL Grand Theater.

The artwork will have a base made of corten steel, which will rust to a color resembling the boulders in Wayne Ferguson Plaza. The base will also display a mosaic created by the Visual Art League. Stainless steel “leaves” will rotate around a stem jutting from the base. Atop the structure will sit a purple-powder-coated bud.

Fagan described it as an organic yet modern piece. “It definitely represents the merge between the past and the future.”

GLAA wanted to honor Jim Wear, former arts center manager at the MCL Grand, for his contributions by gifting a piece of public art to the city. GLAA decided to fund the project with a donation from Total Wine and More.

GLAA President and Lakeside Arts Foundation Vice President Christi Martin sought out Fagan to do the job.

“Our mission is to promote arts in the community and we figured that the amount we had, $10,000, was not enough to purchase a work of art,” she said. “But I looked around us and saw there were plenty of artists and sculptors in the room.”

Fagan will receive a stipend for his work and any additional costs needed to build the installation will be raised by the art groups at no cost to the taxpayer, Martin said. Community relations director James Kunke wrote the estimated value of the sculpture once it is installed will be $40,000.

Fagan has been seriously sculpting since about 1999, he said. He has been welding for about six years. Fagan cited Alexander Calder, the inventor of the mobile, as somebody who gave him validation with his moving sculptures.

“There’s just something magical about art that moves,” Fagan said. “It’s going to be alive, no question about it. It’s not just going to sit there.”

Fagan said abstract art isn’t for everybody but the piece will be a different shape and cast varying shadows with each movement.

Martin said public art generally increases the quality of life in a community, gives an area a sense of place and brings art to the people.

“It sets the community apart from other communities, gives it a unique identity,” she said. “It’s also something that average people can enjoy, from toddlers on up, without having to go to a museum.”

Fagan will team up with engineering firm Halff Associates to make sure the structure will be safe. Bulloch Fabrication, whose specialty is in stainless steel, will do a majority of the metal fabrication.

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